Monday, September 13, 2010

My Personal Trip for a 9/11 Remembrance

I had to bring this special report to my readers

My Personal Trip for a 9/11 Remembrance
Eric Cary

I was thinking last week of how I’d celebrate those patriotic lives that were sacrificed during the terrorist attacks of 9/11. I thought about the different sites and the hype and drama that surrounds two of them, and quickly dismissed both, not because their sacrifice was any less, but just because of the drama and political issues that surround them almost one decade later.

I have always had a special place in my heart for the heroes of Flight 93, for their patriotic unselfish actions of that day. I knew Laura Bush and Michelle Obama planned to visit the Shanksville, PA site on September 11th, but I didn’t want to be part of that craziness, so I decided to make my pilgrimage the day before.

I got to see a peaceful country side whose physical scars have healed, but the eerie feeling of a gravesite is still present. I tried to put myself in the shoes of those brave Americans who decided not to let the terrorists win that day, but it is tough to imagine what exactly went through their collective minds once the decision was made to bring down that airliner on that beautiful fall morning.

They had to know there was a bigger target in the terrorist’s minds that day as they felt the change of direction of the huge plane. Did they suspect Washington DC? I couldn’t help but to wonder if they knew about the other planes that had already found their marks in New York City and the Pentagon. I wondered if they made a conscious effort to spare additional lives if their plane had targeted another heavily populated area, or if they just decided to deny any kind of target to Islamic terrorists.

My tour of the information center confirmed my worst fears, all the 40 passengers knew of the other attacks and had actually voted on a counter attack that ended Flight 93 upside down and plowing into that Shanksville quarry at 580 MPH. When the black box was recovered buried some 25 ft. in the crash pit, it confirmed that the setting on the auto pilot was set to the GPS coordinates of the White House.

Transcribed airfone conversations the passengers had with family members were truly heart wrenching, but the resolve they all showed was uplifting.

As I stood there looking over the hallowed site a feeling of pride welled up in my soul, a feeling of American patriotism that I’m sure was present that fateful day. A feeling shared by 40 people, and an action decidedly taken without hesitation for the good of America, one that was taken without so much as a thought about political correctness, political parties, or racial profiling. The action was taken to protect additional lives, everyone on board was convinced that the actions they took would save lives, but I’m sure at that point they knew their sacrifice would be fatal and complete.

The reason I travelled to this site was that the heroes of Flight 93 knew their situation was dire, and yet they still made that uncompromising decision to end one leg of what could have been a far deadlier day.

To those heroes I came to give my silent thanks and to their families an undying gratitude of their ultimate sacrifice. They will never be forgotten in my lifetime as long as I have a breath left in my lungs.

1 comment:

barb p said...

That had to be a heart rendering trip...thanks to Eric for sharing, and to Al for always sharing...